Travel Journal #1 — Great Expectations

Merida Cathedral“Are you nervous?” If I had a nickel for every time I was asked this question in the past two weeks I could enjoy more than just a few more tacos in the coming weeks! My answer? Most certainly not! Why should I be? I’m going to a city that prides itself on maintaining peace. Without nerves, that leaves a whole lot of room for exuberant expectation; expectation for an experience that will challenge my cultural barriers and enrich my global mindset for the rest of my life.
students at airportSitting comfortably (if that’s possible) in my aisle seat, I smiled as I listened to the couple to my left speaking to each other in French and the seat jolts behind me accompanied by the sweet Spanish voices of little kiddos. Despite this display of diversity among my fellow passengers, what I fear most for the future of America is the ignorance epidemic that has crippled the understanding of the other six billion people we share this beautiful world with. Our lifestyles and surroundings are familiar and comfortable, but they aren’t the only way of living out a lifetime. There is so much beyond the borders of our own accommodating Land of the Free to learn. These experiences abroad become remarkable supplements to the educations we strive for in the States.
Mexico isn’t foreign to this San Diego native who spent every Easter of the first half decade of her life hunting for eggs at Playa del Sol in Cabo San Lucas on the tip of the Baja California peninsula. I don’t believe there has been one year of my life I have not ventured across the border into Mexico. I have a feeling, however, that Merida is a whole different kind of Mexico — Mexico that that is going to knock my socks off! What kind of adventure would this be if I was already familiar with the culture? The diverse cultures in Mexico alone is only a small example of how much exploration there is waiting to be dabbled in across the globe. Merida is where my toes are dipping into at the moment, and in few hours, I’ll be cannon-balling off the high dive to be completely immersed!
I can’t wait to climb the skinny steps of the Mayan temple ruins, burn the midnight candle laughing and sharing stories with my home-stay momma in perfect Spanglish, and develop memorable friendships with the Meridians I cross paths with during the next three months.
Within the hour I’ll be descending upon the city to be my home for the term. My Merida siblings are scattered around the plane and we’re all jumping at the gun, ready to stretch our limbs on the Mexican soil.
by Demi Landstedt ’14, currently participating in the Centre-in-Merida study abroad program. Learn more about study abroad in Merida.
PHOTOS (top to bottom): The streets of our new hometown featuring the night beauty of the Merida Cathedral, and waiting to pass through customs at the airport.

By |2012-02-10T10:53:14-05:00February 10th, 2012|News, Study Abroad, Travel Journals - Mexico|